Please tell us about yourself

Poorvi studied economics at St. Stephen’s College (Economics Hon.) in Delhi. She also earned a degree from the London School of Economics and she’s been working as an economist at the Planning Commission of India and the UNDP. She’s nervous about readjusting to life as a student at CIPA (Columbia School of International Public Affairs) , where she is pursuing MPA in Development Practice, but looks forward to getting her “hands dirty” in the development process instead of just being an onlooker. Welcome Poorvi!

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What’s your professional background?

After my undergrad, I did my post graduation in economics at London School of Economics. Since then, I have worked as an economist for about four years with the Planning Commission of India, United Nations Development Programme and the Commonwealth Secretariat. My most recent role involves policy research and advocacy for least developed countries and small states in the Commonwealth; specifically, building their trade capacity and working towards achieving their development goals through trade.

Did you apply to SIPA to change careers or to gain experience in a career path you already have experience in?

I applied to SIPA to branch out as an economist. I love the rigour and technicalities of my work but now I’m looking to gain a more multidisciplinary skill set. I’m actually hoping to get my hands dirty in the development process rather than being an observer to it.

What was your reaction when you found out you were accepted to SIPA?

Tears! The six months or so between preparing to apply and getting accepted are an emotional roller coaster, so it was probably an outpouring of relief, joy and excitement.

Why did you say “yes” to SIPA?

I had a wonderful conversation with Glenn (Director of MDP) at Admitted Students Day in New York – I’m quite glad I made the trip from London to across the pond! After speaking with him and current students of the programme, I was confident that MDP offered exactly what I wanted from graduate school.

What do you most look forward to as a graduate student at SIPA?

Living in New York! That, and meeting some of the brightest and most motivated people from all over the world.

Do you have any apprehensions about starting graduate school?

I suppose the thought of readjusting to student life is scariest for me. Though I do think once school starts, we’d jump straight into the deep end and there will be no time for apprehensions.

What are your goals after SIPA?

I want to transition to policy implementation and management roles in international organisations from the more research-based roles that I have gained experience in so far. However, I’m open to being challenged during the course of the programme and exploring new career options that I hadn’t considered before. That’s what being at university is about!

If you could change one small thing about your community, country or the world, what would it be?

If I could (and I realise this is no small thing), I would eliminate all forms of inequality everywhere. This applies to inequalities of gender, race, access to opportunities etc. The world would be so much more fun if everyone had a chance to be the best version of themselves, rather than having to expend their energy fighting battles for basic rights that most of us take for granted.

Tell us something interesting about yourself:

I’m always up for picking my bags up and travelling – at the drop of a hat. I especially like to be in the outdoors (hiking/cycling), so if there are fellow Seeples that have itchy feet like mine, I would love to talk more about potential new adventures!